Proceedings of the Sixth Biennial Conference on Religion and American Culture

The Proceedings of the Sixth Biennial Conference on Religion and American Culture held last June in Indianapolis, IN are now available online.

They include a written version of an invited panel I participated in on the topic of religion and refugees. Thanks to Indiana University-Purdue’s Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture and Religion & American Culture: A Journal of Interpretation for hosting this collegial conversation.

Advance online publication of my 2019 H. Paul Douglass Lecture, “I Can’t Keep Quiet”

The Review of Religious Research journal has published an advance online version of my 2019 H. Paul Douglass Lecture, “I Can’t Keep Quiet: Engaging with Scholarly Research on Religion.” I was honored to deliver this address to the annual meeting of the Religious Research Association and Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. A print version is forthcoming in the RRR journal.

Access the article here, or email me for a PDF.

Politics and “Good” Catholics

The occasion of Communion denial by a bishop to a politician provided an opportunity to talk with Religion New Service reporter Jack Jenkins about politics and notions of a “good” Catholic. Read the RNS article with my sociological commentary on the topic here. Also check out the book I coedited with Charles Camosy and Mary Ellen Konieczny, Polarization in the US Catholic Church, and stay tuned for forthcoming research I’ve conducted with a team of interviewers on the issue of Americans’ attitudes toward abortion across the spectrum.

“I Can’t Keep Quiet” (2019 H. Paul Douglass Lecture)

“I Can’t Keep Quiet: Engaging Scholarly Research on Religion” was the title of my H. Paul Douglass Lecture, presented at the 2019 meetings of the Religious Research Association / Society for the Scientific Study of Religion in St. Louis. I am grateful for the invitation to step into the shoes of giants who have delivered this address in years past. The experience was an honor and a career highlight.

I’ll post a video of the talk once available, and the address will be published in a 2020 issue of the journal Review of Religious Research. Send me an email if you would like to read a copy sooner.

Carriers of Catholicism: Agents of a Future Church (My Lecture @ Fairfield University)

I was honored by the invitation to give the 19th annual Anne Drummey O’Callaghan Lecture, presented by the Center for Catholic Studies at Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut.

It was great to be in a room full of attentive students, faculty, and community members asking insightful questions about the current and unfolding state of Catholicism in the U.S.

Thanks to Fairfield University and Professor Paul Lakeland for the gracious welcome, and to the O’Callaghan family for their ongoing support of public-facing scholarship on Catholicism.

Politics and personal well-being

The inundation of political news can take a toll on our personal well-being, according to a recent study by Kevin B. Smith, Matthew V. Hibbing, and John R. Hibbing.

Thanks to WBIR-Knoxville for the chance to react and reflect on the sociological implications of this study: namely, that present discomfort can be the inspiration and source of positive, long-term change through social movements and civic engagement.

Watch the clip here.

Youtube debut on Religion for Breakfast!

I’m excited to share that the video I cowrote with Andrew Mark Henry of the Youtube channel Religion for Breakfast is now live!

Why are congregations so divided?” looks at the social dynamics behind divisions along race, class, and more in local religious communities. Andrew flew out to interview me and tour around congregations in my current hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee. The video’s themes resonate with those I researched and discussed in detail in my book, Parish and Place: Making Room for Diversity in the American Catholic Church.

Thanks also to Sacred Writes and the Henry Luce Foundation for sponsoring this collaboration and promoting public scholarship on religion.

Check out the video, share, and join the 87,000+ who subscribe to Religion for Breakfast!

On Technology, Twitter, Responsibility, Social Movements, & Social Change

Thanks to The Human Show podcast for the invitation to discuss sociological perspectives on social change as it interacts with technological change. While movement tactics have evolved since the mobilization of Catholics I wrote about in my first book, Faithful Revolution, the dynamics of people’s pleas for reform reveal enduring patterns.

Listen to the full episode here:

The Human Show, Podcast 64 – 6/30/19

Announcing the release of American Parishes: Remaking Local Catholicism!

My latest book is out!!

I’m thrilled to share that the volume I coedited with Gary Adler and Brian Starks – born of The American Parish Project (TAPP) – is now available! American Parishes: Remaking Local Catholicism was just published by Fordham University Press as a part of their Catholic Press in North America Series.

The book features introductory and concluding chapters to frame and orient a sociological approach to parishes. Another chapter I authored provides a historical overview of sociology and parish studies. Additional chapter contributions come from Nancy Ammerman; Gary Adler; Mark Gray; Brett Hoover; Tia Noelle Pratt; Mary Jo Bane; Kathleen Garces-Foley; Courtney Ann Irby; and John Coleman.

Purchase your copy today!